Chez’s storyPosted: 16/07/2012
I, myself a British Citizen, my young family, along with my British parents have been planning to move back to the UK for well over 12 months. We were in the final stages of organizing our move for early next year when we have all been shocked to learn of a hastily passed bill which will now stop us being able to settle in the UK. I am a New Zealander with a British passport and have previously lived, worked and attended high school in the UK. My husband who I married in early 2008 and my young son are New Zealanders. My entire extended family and my Fathers only other living relative, his sister, are all in England.
I had already researched visa applications for my husband and under the old Married Settlement Visa requirements we were more than eligible. We have the sale of our home and my husband would work full time. I had been in talks with a Visa Specialist over here for the last 12 months and everything had seemed rather straight forward. I contacted them on the 10 th of July to tell them to get the ball rolling when I was informed that as of the 9 th of July instead of my husband being able to gain immediate Indefinite Right to Remain due to us being married for over 4 years, we would now need over 72,000 GBP in the bank or I, as his sponsor and with our young son, would need to be making over 22,000 GPB a year. If I am able to get a British Passport for my young son then the figures would be slightly less than this as he would not need to be under the sponsor scheme –but either way it’s a hefty price tag. The policy appears to be a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t consider a family’s real expenses. Wealth in things such as house equity are not even taken into consideration. I would imagine that the majority of households currently would not meet this requirement.
Putting a price on immigration prevents the poor from migrating, while not curtailing the movement of the wealthy. The system only takes into account the British Citizens income, this will clearly have a very differential impact on women. According to ‘The Migration Observatory’, 61 per cent of women will not qualify. Surely this is a case for the Court of Human Rights? It leaves no room for stay-at-home parents even if their non-British partner earns much more than the threshold.
If this legislation is intended to stop illegal marriages and prevent people using the welfare system and tax payers money it has been poorly thought out. All this does is isolate people like us who would have done nothing but paid our taxes and lived responsibly.
We are being caught in a crossfire and it is discriminatory. The new law is supposed to ‘’clamp down on bogus marriages and family visas, with migrants ending up on benefits from the taxpayer’’. This is in no way relevant to ourselves, or the many other people who are no doubt going to be affected.
New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth – clearly this means nothing these days!